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October 20, 2020

Coronavirus company news summary – South32 reports increase in coal and manganese production – India’s steel industry recovering – BHP reports increase in iron ore production

By Matthew Hall

20 October

Australian mining company South32 has announced an increase in its coal and manganese production for the quarter that ended in September, despite restrictions imposed due to Covid-19 pandemic. Manganese production increased by 19% compared to the previous quarter, while coal production increased by 22%.

The steel market in India is slowly recovery after being disrupted by the Covid-19 pandemic, according to Chairman of steel producer Rashtriya Ispat Nigam, P K Rath. Demand for steel increased as construction related projects resumed after lockdown restrictions were lifted. Steel demand is expected to further increase as demand rises in the white goods and auto industry during the festival season, Rath added.

Aluminium output in China increased to 3.16 million tonnes in September, an increase of 7% compared to the same period in 2019. The daily output of aluminium reached a new high at 105,333 tonnes. The increase in production was attributed to the recovery of prices and commissioning of new smelters, following the Covid-19 pandemic.

BHP reported a 7.2% increase in Australian iron ore production for the September quarter aided by strong demand from China. The country has adopted a range of the commodity-intensive stimulus measures to stimulate economic growth after the pandemic. BHP also reported impact on iron ore production for the December quarter due to ongoing works at the Mining Area C and South Flank projects.

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